Harm OCD

The Blessing Of Accepting Uncertainty In OCD

I feel recovered from my OCD.

I am a medical doctor and have had issues with anxiety probably for the past 20 years. My anxiety went through the roof about 2 and a half years ago and I began experiencing panic attacks. I didn’t know I had OCD at that time. Eventually I saw a psychiatrist and began the process of diagnosing what is going on with me. I wanted to get help but I didn’t know how to describe what I was feeling inside. I was feeling ashamed of the thoughts that I had in my head. I had lots of harm and violence related images. I was feeling ashamed because I am a doctor and I had tons of intrusive violent images, I was getting scared with thoughts like: “What if I do that? What if I harm someone?”. I was beginning to feel disgusted with myself for having such thoughts and images in my head. And I didn’t know how to tell my psychiatrist. I thought that I probably just belonged in jail. Because I was feeling miserable and I wanted to get help I gathered all of my strength and talked to my wife and one of my friends, who encouraged me to talk to my psychiatrist. That is what lead to my diagnosis of OCD. I was started on a medication- clomipramine. And it helped with me become able to accept what is going on in my head. I began my own research on the internet and came across the book “The mindfulness workbook for OCD” and also the “OCD workbook”. I really liked the mindfulness workbook and read it few times to learn the concepts and start applying them. I also read through the OCD workbook mainly on the topics of ACT and ERP. I noticed a significant improvement with doing my own ERP. My OCD gradually quietened down and began to be just part of me but not controlling me.

This summer I came across The OCD Stories podcast and I noticed on one of the interviews the interviewee saying how we should be accepting uncertainty. It was like a blessing to me. I began to figure out how my intolerance to uncertainty has lead me to my OCD and how it has been controlling my life. I gradually became to feel more and more open to uncertainty and that is where ACT is playing its great role for me. At this point in time I am only on a minimal dose of medication and feel that I could be off medication. I feel recovered from my OCD. In retrospect I think I have had OCD my entire life, and it was related mostly to checking repeatedly if I locked the door, turned off the oven or the lights in the house. It wasn’t until 2 and half years ago that those harm related images popped up.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Louise November 20, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    I too suffer from intrusive thoughts! My thoughts were true compassion for child abuse however I can’t solve the world’s problem I would obsessed for hours on end.

    • Stuart Ralph
      Reply Stuart Ralph November 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      Thanks for sharing. I hope you’re doing better 🙂

    • Stuart Ralph
      Reply Stuart Ralph November 24, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      Thanks Louise. I hope you’re feeling better! Stu

  • Reply CLM May 10, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Hello
    I am a 35 year old RN. I have always had anxiety and some degree of OCD but never any harm
    Thoughts. About a month ago I had a series of 2 panic attacks. The anxiety had reached an all time high and 2 weeks later I started having harm thoughts. They are horrible intrusive and disturbing. I have no history of mental illness or anything like this ever happening .
    It disturbs me so much I literally feel sick to my stomach. I have been scouring the internet to see if I can find anything similar to what I am going thru. I am going to look into the book you recommend.
    How are you doing now ?thank you

    • Stuart Ralph
      Reply Stuart Ralph May 11, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Hi CLM, thanks for your message. Go see your doctor or a CBT therapist they will be able to help 🙂

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